NUKE PAINTING TIP: Photograph your miniatures with a phone camera for hobbyists
Smartphones today come with pretty good built-in camera. I use an iphone to take snapshots of my WIP Because
– tons of photo cropping / text adding and color balancing apps available
– instantly uploaded, no need to hassle with an SD card or transferring the photos to your conputer first
– at 3mega pixel iphone 3Gs you can get a decent photo especially when viewed on facebook
Canon G12 – 10 megapixels
Iphone 5 – 8 megapixel cam
Samsung galaxy s3 – 8 megapixel
Yes yes, the resolution isnt everything, but im just showing it here. By all means, we own a Canon D50 at the studio and its what we use to film / photograph our completed work.
Yes, the quality of the photos arent amazing and you probably wont want to use it to present your finishes / official work. But if your not a pro-painter and not sure what camera to buy…. IMHO get a smartphone!
Now, for those who already own one, heres what you can do to improve your smartphone miniature photography. This is pretty similar to conventional photography, so i will put it in a laymans term and just point out exactly what to do
1. Light: make sure you have enough light. I use 1-2 warm daylight with high wattage output.
2. Shadow diffusion: With light comes shadow. Strong lightsource means more detail on your minis will show, but also strong shadow and extreme brightness
You can soften this by building your own soft box. Its easy – get a large empty box, cut holes on the top and the sides and tape some handtowels on them = done. If you wanna see a tutorial for this let me know – i used a homemade softbox even when i started painting as a job.
3. Focus – now, most smartphone comes with the autofocus and auto balance feature. For iphones you just tap on the screen – do make sure your miniature is in focus before taking the shot. You can adjust the distance between your phone / mini to get more detail. The closet, the harder to focus. So i place my phone around 6-7 inches away at least, and zoom in. This way, i can even get tiny details like eyes / facial expression with my meager iphone 3gs 3megapixel cam4. Background.In most my progress pictures, you will see that theres a fuzzy grey background sometimes discolored, thats the filter of my spray booth.
Anything uniform will work. I prefer grey. White bg will trick your smartphone into thinking that your mini is too dark, so the autobalance feature will bring down the brighness, resulting in a darker photo.Black bg will do the opposite.
You can easily download background pics from the net and print them out. Or use your shirt, or your girlfriends velvet dress if you are feeling posh. As long as you keep your bakground uniform, and along the mid-tone, your smartphone mini photography result will be enhanced!
5. Photo editing on your smartphone.
Now, after youve taken a few best shots. Its time to adjust the balance.
I use pic stitcher app to arrange my pics when i want to feature more than one pics in a frame.And Line camera to adjust contrast and add txt.
6 Presentation – this is important. Remember, if your like me amd still using a 2009 era smartphone, well, you gotta remember the fact that the resolution wont be that crisp. So you gotta choose the part you want to present and present them in more than 1 picture, because people arent gonna notice all the details if you dont provide close up shots, especially with 3megapixels no.
So you can zoom in, crop and select the part you wanna show my fav is the face and upload that individually. Or you can create a few separate zoom-in pics and stitch them all up with pic-stitcher or any framing app.
This way you dont rely on your audience to zoom in an look at those pixelated details… You blow them up as big as possible and take it to them.
Hope this helps, and as always, you have my thank and respect for reading through this wall of text!!CheersNuke
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